Skip to main content
Temecula Valley Has All the Flavors for Your Fall Wine Sipping

Temecula Valley Has All the Flavors for Your Fall Wine Sipping

October 3, 2023

Check out these Southern California selections as the weather cools this season
Fall in Temecula Valley is more than just a shift in the season; it’s a bustling time in the vineyards. The grape clusters, having basked in the sun throughout the summer, have reached optimal ripeness, and the vineyards come alive with the hum of workers and machines during the harvest season. Grapes are meticulously sorted, crushed, and transferred into tanks and barrels, beginning their transformative journey from fruit to wine. Inside the wineries, there’s a tangible excitement. Winemakers taste and test, ensuring that each vintage captures the essence of the year’s hard work.

And as the rigorous work in the vineyards and wineries is unfolding, outside, the valley puts on a stunning display of autumn colors, setting the scene for those relaxed, chilly evenings. With each bottle uncorked, you’re not just tasting a wine, but the labor, love, and legacy of Temecula’s winemaking community. As the days get shorter and the nights cooler, there’s no better time to dive into the wines of the season. Whether you’re pairing it with a meal or just enjoying a glass on a cozy evening, Temecula’s fall offerings are a toast to the hard work behind every bottle and the joy of the season ahead.

We tapped some of our favorite Temecula Wineries to find out what they recommend sipping this fall season.

Wiens Cellars 2019 San Ignacio Unforgiving

This blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Carmenere, 9% Merlot, and 5% Malbec took Gold at this year’s Toast of the Coast Wine Competition as well as Gold and 94 Points at the 2023 Los Angeles Invitational Wine Challenge – and with good reason! It boasts notes of strawberry rhubarb and white pepper, with a smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel and firm tannins. Perfect for rich, hearty fall dishes, it pairs beautifully with grilled steaks, braised short ribs, beef stew, and dishes with strong cheeses or herbs like rosemary and thyme.

Find it HERE.

Avensole Winery 2019 Aventura

This 60% Zinfandel and 40% Tempranillo blend offers aromas of ripe blackberry laced with spice and a hint of eucalyptus. On the palate, this wine is lush and jammy, highlighted by smoked cherry, with an expressive sweet tobacco & mint finish. Like Autumn leaves, this wine has aged to perfection, bringing a bouquet of flavors that’ll leave you ‘vine-ing’ for more!

Pair it with fig leaf ice-cream & Temecula blood orange olive oil cake with pistachio crumble, fig puree, lavender, meringue, and rum flambé.

Find it HERE.

Europa Village 2019 Tempranillo

On the nose, this Tempranillo offers a bouquet of cedar, plum, and leather. On the palate, flavors of dark chocolate and fid are balanced by a wave of acidity that carries the palate to a satisfying finish… so satisfying, in fact, that it was rated a whopping 90 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Says Europa Village director of winery operations Matt Rice, “This is a great wine for fall because it is rich enough to enjoy with hearty meals appropriate for cooler weather, and it channels a hint of autumn leaves on the aroma, delivering the taster fully into this delightful season.” Pair this with chorizo empanadas for a match made in food and wine heaven.

Find it HERE.

Fazeli Cellars 2020 Mehregan

An homage to the spirit of Mehregan, the fall harvest festival recognized by Persians since ancient times. The festival celebrates preparation for winter and the triumph of knowledge over ignorance, and enlightenment over darkness. Each sip offers a rich tapestry of black cheery fruit complemented by warm undertones of allspice, vanilla, and a playful hint of cherry cola. This wine is perfectly poised to elevate a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner.

Find it HERE.

Wilson Creek Winery 2022 “Yes Dear” Chardonnay

This classic California Chardonnay offers warm golden color with notes of green apple and French oak aromas on the nose. It’s off-dry with baked apple, spice, and vanilla on the palate, delicate acidity, and a soft finish. “Yes Dear” Chardonnay is aged in oak barrels, which can impart warm, toasty, and vanilla-like notes to the wine. These oak-influenced flavors can be reminiscent of fall spices and aromas, making Chardonnay a fitting choice for the season. As the weather turns cooler, some wine drinkers may be looking to transition from lighter white wines to more robust reds. Chardonnay can serve as a bridge between the two, offering a bit more body and complexity compared to summer whites but not as heavy as many reds.

Sip this as an aperitif, or pair it with mild or creamy foods, such as triple cream brie, toasted nuts, lobster or bacon wrapped scallops, quiche Lorraine, or apple pie.  For an extra delicious duo, try it with this recipe for pumpkin-turkey chili.

Find it HERE.

Wilson Creek Winery 2020 Family Reserve Zinfandel

A true to classic California Zinfandel, this wine is jammy, with flavors of rich boysenberry and blackberry on the palate, spicy aromatics of clove and cinnamon on the nose, and balanced acidity and firm oak tannin on the finish. Zin is known for its bold and robust flavors. It often exhibits ripe fruit notes like blackberries, cherries, and plums, along with spice and pepper undertones. These characteristics can be quite warming on crisp fall days or chilly evenings. The subtle spice notes harmonize with the spices commonly used in fall dishes like pumpkin pie, spiced apple desserts, and stews. This Zin is an excellent choice for fall celebrations and gatherings, especially if you are looking for a wine that can stand up to a variety of flavors and preferences.

This wine has the backbone to stand up to food with strong flavors and spices and will pair well with sharp cheddar and aged blue cheeses, spicy grilled peppers stuffed with melty cheese and chorizo, Marquez sausage, BBQ beef skewers, and Moroccan style lamb stew. For dessert try it with chocolate covered strawberries or cherries for a decadent treat.

Palumbo Winery 2016 Cellar Dweller

The Palumbo Family always loves to pop corks on Rhône style blends usually made up of varying combinations of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre going into Fall. This library selection proprietary blend is a slight twist on that with the addition of Merlot in the mix, giving it a depth and body that pairs well with cool nights and rich beef stew along with a plate of cheeses and crusty fresh baked bread. Blackberry, baking spice and bright red fruit combine to make this a very warm welcome as the days get shorter.

Find it at the winery only.

Carter Estate Winery 2022 Les Nobles

This luscious blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling, and Pinot Gris leaps from the glass with powerful and exotic aromatics like stone fruit, lychee, pear, jasmine, and ginger. The sweetness of this wine is beautifully offset by a backbone of juicy acidity, making it the perfect accompaniment to a variety of fall desserts and cheese courses. Try it with classic fall treats like pumpkin pie or tarte tatin.

Find it HERE.

South Coast Winery 2019 Wild Horse Peak Il Temporale

A brooding Sangiovese-dominant blend with a touch of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah to add body and weight, this blend highlights the beauty of the Sangiovese grape and demonstrates the restrained strength of Bordelaise and Rhône varietals. Aged for over 18 months in French oak barrels, the warm and inviting oak aromas provide the perfect tone of spicy vanilla, cinnamon and clove giving this wine a noticeable lift of woodsy deliciousness that mingles well with fruit notes of black cherry and strawberry. This is wine that is gorgeous now but will continue to age gracefully and show well for the next six to ten years.

The tannins are velvety and super soft with a subtle but pleasant grip, so pair this with grilled meats and saucy, rich, pasta dishes.

Find it HERE.

Cougar Vineyard and Winery 2021 Estate Ciliegiolo

Made from 100% Estate grapes, this is the 5th grape variety Cougar has petitioned to be recognized in the United States to be used on a California wine label.  Ciliegiolo is in the Sangiovese family, from the area of Umbria, Italy, so you will recognize similar notes of bright cherry and violet.

This wine pairs with classic fall flavors of pomegranate, toasted nuts, and raisins, so try it with an autumn chicken salad!  This will also be your new go-to wine for the Thanksgiving table.

Find it HERE.

Peltzer Winery 2019 Aged Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel

This velvety wine woos with notes of cherry preserves, maple syrup, and vanilla. It’s a winery fan-favorite and has been recognized as the perfect “fireplace wine.” Curl up with a glass (or bottle) and undress a dark chocolate truffle from your favorite local confectionery for the ultimate fall indulgence.

Find it HERE.

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Banner Ads